Best Festival - 2008
Día de los Muertos in Santa Ana
Started in the mid-1990s in the living rooms of Mexican consulate workers who wanted their pocho kids to experience Mexico's annual counterpoint to Halloween, Santa Ana's Día de los Muertos celebration is now one of the biggest in the Southland. Run by the chingón Chicano store Calacas, the fiesta takes up an entire parking lot in downtown Santa Ana and is growing every year. This year's rendition includes dozens of altars built by nonprofits, individuals and others filling the parking lot of the historic Yost Theatre. And all the while, on a main stage, some of the best Chicano music this side of the Self-Help Graphics. So much better than the Pageant of the Masters, and all the events are gratis.